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Defender Picks


Art Openings and Shows in NOLA

Each week, NoDef brings you a comprehensive directory of visual arts
in the Crescent City from Julia to St. Claude

March 21-28

by Cheryl Castjohn

“Into the Light II” opens Thursday night at the Ogden amidst the musical stylings of songwriter and musician Jim McCormick and songstress Kristin Diable.  The Bywater’s Alvar Library opens an expedition of Cynthia Scott’s socially-conscious and environmentally astute works as a part of its ongoing Alvar Arts Series.  Jonathan Ferrara Gallery continues its open call for entries into its annual “No Dead Artists” competition, and  MFA Candidates Valerie Corradetti and David Hassel, Jr. continue to hold court at UNO St. Claude.


St. Claude

Bywater’s Alvar Library, 913 Alvar Street

Opening Reception March 20, from 7pm to 9pm

Works by Cynthia Scott

Contemporary sculptor, photographer and installation artist Cynthia Scott gives an overview of her sociologically- and politically-themed work over several decades.  Since 2005, Scott has focused primarily on humankind’s interference with the planet’s ecological balance.


Barrister’s, 2331 St. Claude Avenue at Spain Street

Dan Tague curates “Thy Will Be Done” a show featuring works by Generic Art Solutions, Heathcliff Hailey, Charlie Hoffacker, Elizabeth Kleinweld, Epaul Julien and Michael Greathouse. 


Pop-Up show, Demetri Masiakos’s “Dekatria” features 13 creepy and beautiful precious objects fashioned of old photos set into cabinets and behind curtains.  A little Dr. Caligari, a little Joseph Cornell, a lot of questions.


Good Children Gallery, 4037 St. Claude Avenue

“HEIIR” Curated by Tameka Norris, co-curated by Ernest Littles and Breana Thompson


The Front, 4100 St. Claude Avenue

Rooms 1 & 2

Kyle Bravo’s “As It Was in the Beginning Is Now And Ever Shall Be”

Room 3

John Isiah, Carl Joe Williams, Ayo Scott, Keith Duncan, Bruce Davenport, Jr., 501V

“28 Days Later”

Room 4

Jamie Alonzo’s “Handle with Care”


“Her Shorts”


The May Space, 2839 North Robertson, Ste 105

Susan Bowers has “renewed her passion for the primordial medium” of ceramics and we all win.  “Triptix” at May Space.


Press Street’s Antenna, 3718 St. Claude Avenue

“Gimme that ol’tyme religion” by street artist MRSA consists of large, abstract cutouts of gods and monsters, woven together with folklore and artistic license.


Second Story Gallery at the Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude Avenue

Gina Laguna and Cynthia Ramirez take over the Second Story Gallery with steel sculpture by Laguna and mind-blowing, colorful work by Ramirez.


UNO St. Claude, 2429 St. Claude Avenue

Valeria Corradetti’s “Paper Mountains” features drawings and photographs in vivid colors and luscious textures.

David Hassel’s “AUTOREPAIR: Pulsed Plasma Stimulation” investigates branding and pleasurable consumer experience by packaging an unseemly latex product of his own making.



CAC, 900 Camp Street

“30 Americans” showcases works by many of the most important African American artists of the last three decades. This provocative exhibition focuses on issues of racial, sexual, and historical identity in contemporary culture while exploring the powerful influence of artistic legacy and community across generations.  “30 Americans” involves all three floors and a one-time-only collection of prominent and important black artists.  Through June 13



NOMA, One Collins Diboll Circle, City Park

Friday Nights at NOMA

March 21st, 5pm to 9pm

Maya Symposium Keynote Lecture


Floral arrangements cluster around famous works all over the bloomin’ museum as Whitney’s “Art in Bloom” wraps up.


Mel Chin’s “Rematch” continues on the first floor.  This legendary Chinese American Southern artist’s most important and best loved works remain on display.  A video game, a deconstructed encyclopedia, a creative and massive attempt to clean up New Orleans lead-contaminated soil, and so very much more await you at NOMA through May.  “Rematch” is a great family-geared show, fun and thought-provoking for all ages.


“Photography and the American Civil War” traveling exhibit organized by Met Curator Jeff Rosenheim features rare and newly discovered photography and objects which tell the story of photography’s intimately intertwined relationship with the War Between the States.  Innovations on the stereograph incorporate some shockingly modern technology into the mix in this one-of-a-kind, one-of-a-lifetime exhibit.


Ongoing at the Ogden Museum of Contemporary Southern Art

Ogden After Hours

March 20th

Celebrate the first day of spring with songwriter Jim McCormick performs with singer Kristin Diable for a southern-crafted mini-show

Opening Reception - “Into the Light II: Photographs from the Permanent Collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art”

Phase two of this uniquely Southern exhibition highlighting rare and previously-unseen photographs from the Ogden’s holdings. More work culled from the ouvres of Shelby Lee Adams, William Christenberry, George Dureau, William Eggleston, Birney Imes, Roland L. Freeman, Marion Post Wolcott, and many others.


 “I’ll Save You Tomorrow” Juan Logan’s multi-media collection continues on the fourth floor, with installations, paintings, collages and sculpture.


“Trespass,” Lee Deigaard  Photography, video installation taken from her “Unbidden” and “Pulse,” series, respectively.  Trespass is part of Deigaard’s ongoing exploration into the complex relationship between humans and nature.


“Rediscovered,” Steffen Thomas  A Stone Mountain, Georgia artist who left his native Nuremburg in 1928 to earn acclaim as a Southern American artist.  Selections of his works.


CURRENTS 2013 features works by fourteen New Orleans Photo Alliance members. Featuring four to five images by each selected artist, the show gives viewers a deeper insight into each photographer’s vision and reflects an overview of contemporary photographic practices.


Walter Inglis Anderson: Selections from the Permanent Collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art


Southern Regionalists: Selections from the Permanent Collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art


Andrews-Humphrey Gallery: George “The Dot Man ”Andrews (1911-1996) was a self-taught artist from Plainview, Georgia. The exhibit also includes his son, the late Benny, who was a civil rights activist and proponent for change in the art world, where he faced discrimination as a multiracial artist. Nene Humphrey is a sculpture, drawer, and printmaker whose work draws from her Roman Catholic background.


Thornton Dial’s “Struggling Tiger in Hard Times”


Will Henry Stevens Gallery: A pioneer of southern modernism, Stevens organizes the landscapes around him in clean shapes and colors



The Historic New Orleans Collection, 533 Royal Street

Tennessee Williams Scholars Conference
Friday, March 21 from 9:15 a.m.–4:15 p.m.
Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres St., in the French Quarter

Admission to the scholars conference is $20. Tickets must be purchased through the Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival.


Shout, Sister, Shout!  The Boswell Sisters of New Orleans

Opening Reception Tuesday, March 25, 6:30pm to 8pm
with a performance by new vaudeville review team Jones and Boyce
Free and open to the public
Members are invited to preview the exhibition from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m


In the 1920s and ’30s, a trio of sisters from New Orleans became the darlings of radio’s golden age. Martha, Connie, and Vet Boswell were classically trained musicians heavily influenced by the city’s vibrant jazz scene. Together they pioneered the cheerful, close-harmony style that became emblematic of 1940s girl groups. Join The Historic New Orleans Collection in rediscovering the Boswell Sisters, one of the city’s most celebrated musical exports.

Civil WarBattlefields and National Parks: Photographs by A.J. Meek


In 1993, long before the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War—upon which we, as a nation, are now reflecting—A. J. Meek, professor of photography at Louisiana State University, presented a proposal to the university’s council of research stating a desire to photograph the 384 documented Civil War battlefield sites at the same time of year the battles were fought.


Daguerrotype to Digital:  A Presentation of Photographic Processes


This exhibition traces the evolution of the photographic method from the 1840’s to the present day.  Exhibition closes March 29th.



Scale Model of 1915 French Quarter


In conjunction with HNOC’s 2007 exhibition Four Hundred Years of French Presence in Louisiana, the Minister of Culture and Communication of France presented a model of the French Quarter as it would have appeared in about 1915 to the people of New Orleans. Built in 1962 by French artists and jazz enthusiasts Pierre Atlan and Pierre Merlin, the large model depicts the look and character of the French Quarter when it was still a thriving residential area, as well as Storyville and the city’s rail lines. Although the original model covered the entire city, the only surviving portion is the French Quarter.


The Cabildo & The Presbytere, 701 Chartres Street


Krewe of Hermes:  The Diamond Jubilee

An exhibition of the accoutrements of one of the historically most opulent of Carnival organizations, including gowns, invitations, favors, float designs, crowns and scepters.


Mardi Gras:  It’s Carnival Time in Louisiana

Parades, Balls and the Courir du Mardi Gras are explored in this newly renovated show. Based on original research, the exhibit traces the emergence of New Orleans' parades and balls to the present-day, statewide extravaganza that attracts millions.


Visions of Excellence

An annual exhibition of extraordinary images by photojournalists around the world, this exhibition returns for the 5th consecutive year.  Thirty-seven photographic prints are on view in the current show, selected from more than 40,000 submissions to the Picture of the Year competition.


The Wildlife Carvings of Cleo Scott

This exhibition of life-sized bird sculptures showcases the talents of one of Louisiana's master carvers. A retired law enforcement officer from St. Mary Parish, Cleo Scott's lifelong interest in hunting and fishing led him to decoy and wildlife carving.


They Call Me Baby Doll

Dating to about 1912 among women working in city's red-light districts, the Baby Doll tradition both embraced and mocked stereotypes of women as "babies" or "dolls" in popular culture. They Call Me Baby Doll: A Mardi Gras Tradition features historic photographs, costumes and artifacts, including many items loaned by baby doll members.


The Louisiana Photographs of Robert Tebbs

Tebbs photographed nearly 100 Louisiana plantations, including well-known sites such as Elmwood, Parlange, Ormond, Whitney, Houmas House, L'Hermitage, Waverly, Belle Chasse, Chr?tian Point, Shadows-on-the-Teche, Ren? Beauregard House, Rosedown, Woodlawn, Oak Alley and Belle Grove. Because he also sought out more obscure or modest properties, the collection contains a comprehensive record of Louisiana plantation architectural styles.



Living with Hurricanes: KATRINA & beyond

Katrina and Beyond is a must-see exhibition on the history and science of these awesome storms -- and their profound impact on our lives. At the Presbytere on Jackson Square.





Ariodante Gallery, 535 Julia Street

“Control vs. Freedom” is the title of Kim Howes Zabbia’s show of paintings at Ariodante throughout March.  The title reflects Zabbia’s constant struggle to let her paint do its thing, and Zabbia’s not-so-fumbling attempts to harness it.  Zabbia’s work tends to play with depth in abstraction, tying Abstract Expressionism back to the early days of the Cubist collage. The space-age jewelry design of Betsy M. Green is featured, along with the bright and bold sculpture of Hernan Caro.  Dana Manly offers some lagniappe in the form of bright and pronounced watercolor doorways.


Arthur Roger Gallery, 432 & 434 Julia Street

The indomitable Bunny Matthews presents his “The People of New Orleans from A to Z” with a closing reception on April 5th, the show running until April 19th.  Character “sketches” include “Astrologer,” “Drunk,” “Oyster Shucker” and “Xenophobe.”  Not mentioned are the drunken astrologer, drunken oyster shucker, or the drunken xenophobe.  Great fun from this artist with art about town.


Mixed media on reconstructed paper is the tantalizing description of the simultaneous show “Swinging Pendulum” by Edward Whiteman.  Experience his earthy hieroglyphic works of vast size, some alluding to his “Egypt Series” of shows past.  If the Arts & Crafts movement had worked out stained glass art on paper, they’d look a little like Whiteman’s new works.  Unique and intriguing processes result in works not impressive just for their size.


Boyd Satellite, 440 Julia Street

Work by Vito Giallo, by appointment only through March 24th.


Callan Contemporary, 518 Julia Street

Adrian Deckbar, “Transformations”  These staggeringly lifelike paintings utilize broad, horizontally oriented canvases to envelop the viewer in cycles of life.  Vignettes of pond life stay oh-so-true to the palettes of wild and placid ponds.  A must-see for serious shoppers, meant to be ooh’ed and ahh’ed over in an inviting architectural setting.


Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, 400 Julia Street

Mel Chin’s “More Greatest Hits” features works like “Impotent Victory” and QWERTY Courbet whose materiality leaves no realm of common object untouched.  From AK-47’s to high-tops to blasting powder, their flammability is ironically not what makes this show so explosive.  February 12th through April 12th.

Adam Mysock’s “Voltany,” March 5th through 11th only.  Tiny, amazing “devotional objects” by this artist and professor at Tulane.  “Voltany” features George Washington as Jesus, tying balloon animals with one hand and depictions of St. Bartholomew depicted as the Patron Saint of Tanners.


LeMieux Gallery, 332 Julia Street

Ben Shamback’s “Color is a Vessel” and John Langford’s quirky, colorful and verbose “Summer Stars” are featured at LeMieux this month.  Langford’s recent portraits of musical phenoms like Dave Bartholomew, Wardell Quezergue and Allen Touissant promise funky and fantastic subject matter and are backed up by Langford’s easy-to-love stylistic touches.


Martine Chaisson Gallery, 727 Camp Street

Caroline Wright’s show “Unwinding Landscape” features large scale acrylic on canvas paintings of ambient and soothing shapes and colors. Continues through March 29th.


Octavia Gallery, 454 Julia Street

Jeffrey Pitt’s “Everything is Connected” works from both a “micro and a macro approach,” not surprising from this New Orleans-based artist, having majored in Anthropology at Tulane University.  Pitt comments, “life and art are both equally about finding balance in color, composition, motion, subject, and execution” amongst other things.



Soren Christensen, 400 Julia Street

“Group Work,” also known as best-of-the-best inhabits Soren Christensen this month.  The exhibit includes hyper-realistic works by Larry Preston, the haunting photography of Brooke Shaden, and the dreamy waterscapes of Drew Galloway.  Also featured are many other perennial favorites like Gretchen Weller Howard, Michael Dickter and Harry Paul Ally.


Stella Jones Gallery, 201 St. Charles (enter on Gravier)

“Modernist:  A Look Back” features the work of Richard Dempsey.  Of his work Dempsey says, “I used to do drawings and sketches of scenes, or of people, in preparation for a painting. But later I trained myself to take a good look and remember enough details. I'm not too interested in literally transferring the scene to canvas--it's more a representational interpretation by me..."


TEN Gallery, 4432 Magazine Street

“Illustrations for Stories that Haven’t Been Written” by Harriet Burbeck explores the relationship between image and narrative in this surreally misleading collection of black and white drawings.  Part of the exhibit involves viewer authorship of the drawings, which will be posted on Burbeck’s “Stories” site.  A fun cooperation between an artist and her public promises to be entertaining, so throw in your narrative and join Burbeck’s beautifully twisted adventure.

Greatest Hits Volume 2 features works by TEN repped artists at a fraction of their usual prices in the main gallery.

TEN Zine Vols. 1 through 4 are also available!


Listings by Cheryl Castjohn 


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